Orlando tops Central Florida for antisemitic incidents in 2022, Anti-Defamation League reports

Report also found antisemitic attitudes widespread in the U.S.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Anti-Defamation League revealed a new report that shows an increase across the board in antisemitism incidents, and Orlando had more antisemitic incidents than anywhere else in Central Florida in 2022.

The organization surveyed more than 4,000 Americans through a national panel known as AmeriSpeak. Researchers looked at the overall number of different anti-Jewish tropes that people tend to believe.

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“As someone who does this work all day every day, I have to tell you these responses take my breath away,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL.

The report titled, Antisemitic Attitudes in America, highlighted the numerous misrepresentations about the Jewish community in the survey and asked participants to answer if they agreed with those statements.

The report stated antisemitic attitudes in the U.S. are widespread and likely increasing, with 85% of Americans believing at least one anti-Jewish trope, as opposed to 61% in 2019.

“What these findings represent, what they tell us and what creates such urgency is the fact that large, huge number of Americans hold dangerous, false ideas about the Jewish people,” Greenblatt said.

The report from the ADL was released almost two weeks after an antisemitic message was displayed on the top of a building on New Year’s Eve in downtown Orlando, and just last week, some residents in west Orange County found antisemitic flyers with hateful statements on their front yards and driveways.

According to ADL, in 2022 there were 172 antisemitic incidents in Florida. Thirteen occurred in Orlando, four in Daytona Beach, while Vero Beach, Melbourne, Maitland, and Kissimmee each reported one antisemitic incident.

Overall, Orlando had the third most antisemitic incidents in a Florida city in 2022, behind Tampa with 15 and Jacksonville with 14. The city of Miami had 10.

In 2021 the ADL reported 15 antisemitic incidents in Orlando and 190 in Florida.

“In addition to these classic antisemitic myths, we also saw dangerous levels of agreement with radical anti-Israel positions. These are beliefs that go far beyond commentary on the Israeli government or criticism of particular policies. They are antisemitism,” Greenblatt said.

The study showed 26% of Americans believe Jews have too much power in the business world; 40% agree Israel treats Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews, and 70% say it’s true that Jews stick together more than other Americans.

“What we’re really seeing is far wider-spread antisemitism in that classical fascist trope conspiracy theory sense, much more so than a broad negative Israel sentiment among the American population,” said Dr. Matt Williams, vice president of the Center of Antisemitism Research for ADL.

For more on this report, visit the Anti-Defamation League website.

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Orlando saw the most antisemitic incidents in Central Florida in 2022, not in Florida. The story has been updated to reflect that.